City Guide, Mombasa
Mombasa is the second largest City in Kenya. Located next to the Indian Ocean,with
a major Port and an International Airport. The City also serves as the center of
the coastal tourism industry. Its name derives from Manbasa, the Arabic name of
the former sultan of Mvita, which had its capital here. In modern times the City
is the headquarters of Coast Province. The City is located on Mombasa Island which
is separated from the mainland by two creeks: Tudor Creek and Kilindini Harbour
Fort Jesus is a historical monument built by the Portuguese when they first invaded
East Africa. In this place, many battles were fought between the Portuguese and
Arabs for supremacy, this Fort was their first line of protection. Later the British
used it as a prison.
Old town depicts Mombasa’s mix of Arabic and Swahili influence. This is
reflected in the historic buildings, narrow streets, huge carved Lamu doors, the
old harbour and the Swahili style of dress.
The Mombasa Tuska are located along Moi Avenue in the Mombasa City. The two enormous
tusks arch over both sides of the road. They were built in 1952 to welcome Princess
Elizabeth who then became Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain whilst still in Kenya.
Culture and entertainment
Kenya is renowned for its diverse culture and heritage. Despite the numerous
ethnic tribes that exist, Mombasa embrace a great sense of unity, peace, acceptance
and closeness as one people and one country; all strong virtues of traditional African
culture. Mombasa people are warm, friendly and hospitable. You will not feel like
a stranger when you walk down the streets - you will arrive as a visitor and leave
as a friend. The unique culture of some of the ethnic groups, especially the Maasai,
is a great experience to be enjoyed.
Food and drink
Meat in Kenya is outstandingly good, as are tropical fruit and vegetables. Inland,
a local freshwater fish, tilapia is popular and tasty. On the coast Swahili cuisine
features fragrant rice, grilled fish and seafood curries with coconut milk. Indian
and Middle Eastern food is available in most areas, and there is a wide range of
international restaurants in Nairobi and Mombasa. Tourist hotels provide buffet
meals. Hotels in smaller towns offer a dish of the day, such as chicken and chips
or stew and rice.